Google’s impressive grasp of penis euphemisms (NSFW)

I was so impressed with Google’s grasp of my crude and somewhat gruesome search query, that it prompted me to write a blog post about it… which is saying something, as it’s been more than a year since I found time to write anything worth reading!

This afternoon, during a brief break away from my client work, I was pondering the plight of that poor chap who had his manhood amputated (allegedly) by some local gypsies in Mordor Middlesbrough after he slept with one of their girlfriends.

So I Googled it.

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Ad-overkill ruins ITV player UX

I was delighted to see Econsultancy pulling up the ITV Player for its overuse of frankly irrelevant and inappropriate pre-roll advertising. In this day and age, I would expect an organisation of the size and heritage of ITV to have a far better grasp of both technology and user experience, but it seems that the need to drive advertising revenues has overshadowed the fundamentals of providing an engaging experience for second-screen audiences.

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Top 5 Trends Influencing UX in 2012

An interesting question about the state of UX in 2012 was raised on Quora last weekend, one that I actually found quite difficult to answer, given that there are so many cool things rocking the UX world at the moment.

Whether or not my top five influences will be the top five or not remains to be seen, but these are certainly five trends and movements that will have a massive impact on UX over the next 12 months and onwards. This post expands on my answer on Quora, which was written at about 11pm on a sunday night, and so probably wasn’t an insightful read.

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Minority Report UX just around the corner…?

Okay, so it needs some refining, but Russian company Displair has come up with an exciting new technology that projects images on to a stream of cold fog, and uses an infra-red camera to track hand gestures. Having boot-strapped this prototype together with minimal government funding, I image it’s only a matter of time before they get some serious funding together!

Read the full story at TechCrunch…

Three clicks or bust

There are lots of popular design myths passed off as ‘best practice’ these days by armchair designers, particularly within the web design industry. Somehow these guidelines manage to work their way into the public consciousness, often taking root in briefing and specification documents where they eventually become criteria used to measure the quality of a delivered product.

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Designing the emotional user experience

I was reading a blog post recently by a member of our Riff Raff web design team, Richard Powell posing the question of whether user experience design is an emotional or logical discipline.

I thought I’d share a story that I felt was quite appropriate, and that will hopefully add some subtle shading to a fascinating topic. It’s a story that helps us to understand how human beings make decisions, and how important it is to cater for both the emotional and logical side of any customer experience – either online or off. Apologies if you’ve heard it before.

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An iterative approach to UX design

So all great web design projects start out with that spark of unbridled genius. You’re so convinced that your latest inspiration will be the answer to all your marketing prayers that you funnel your budget into it with gusto.

You spend weeks with a reassuringly expensive design consultant sculpting the perfect user experience from top to bottom, safe in the knowledge that it’ll work. You’re not sure how, but it will.

You share your vision with stakeholders who make enthusiastic noises, and push the project eagerly into production. After months of development, the finished site is unveiled to your waiting public. Then nothing happens.

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The emperor’s new social strategy

When it comes to social marketing, it seems that small businesses in the UK just don’t get it. Despite all the buzz surrounding social platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, a recent study by the Forum of Private Business discovered that many SME’s are struggling to see any real value in their inclusion in the marketing mix.

According to the survey of 5,800 small to medium-sized businesses in the UK, around 21% of them rated social networking platforms as “not useful”, whilst 6% claimed that they were “useless”. So is social marketing really just a box of nail-holes, or are UK businesses just doing it wrong?

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Three Riff Raff web projects shortlisted for regional design awards

Three of our recent web design and build projects have been shortlisted for regional design awards The SMACS, organised by digital media collective Super Mondays.

Although awarded by a panel of industry judges, the competition has a public vote element, so be sure to cast your votes for our design & build work on…

…at the SMACS Awards website. Pints all round if we land a couple!